Local Communities Rally to Support Mental Health Sufferers in Kent

Local Communities Rally to Support Mental Health Sufferers in Kent

Local Support for Mental Health Sufferers Growing

The state of mental health services in the UK has been a growing concern, with the NHS struggling to keep up with demand and over a million people waiting for treatment. As the pressure continues to mount, communities across Kent are stepping up to provide much-needed support for those in need. From a barbershop in Hoo to a kindness cafe in Dartford and a charity in Gravesend, there are new places for mental health sufferers to turn to for help.

Jake Cox, owner of No Bad Days barbershop in St Mary’s Island, knows the importance of having a safe space to talk about mental health. Having struggled with his own mental health issues, he wanted to create a service that could help people while also getting a haircut. Working with mental health charity North Kent Mind, Jake is now planning to expand this safe space to other barbers across the county.

For Hoo resident Dean Kalinka, this safe space was exactly what he needed. After experiencing a miscarriage and his wife’s cancer diagnosis, Dean was struggling with his mental health but was hesitant to reach out to the NHS due to fears of long waiting lists and high costs. But when he sat down in Jake’s barber chair, he found himself opening up like never before.

In Dartford, Laura Cordell runs the Kindness and Well-Being support group, offering a safe place for people to get the support they need. Having struggled with mental health issues since the age of eight, Laura understands the importance of early intervention. She created the group to help people before their mental health issues escalate.

The need for more mental health support has been recognized by the government, with investments being made to boost services. But the numbers of people in need continue to rise, with waiting lists for treatment getting longer. This is something that Dr. Manpinder Singh Sahota has noticed at his surgery in Gravesend, where patients can wait up to six months for counselling.

In the meantime, there are organizations like the Elliott Holmes Memorial Fund, which was set up by the parents of a teenager who took his own life after struggling with mental health issues. The charity works to bridge the gap in NHS services and relies on community support to make a difference in the lives of those in need.

As the community comes together to address the mental health crisis in the UK, there is hope for better support and care for those suffering. With the growing number of local initiatives and charities, mental health sufferers in Kent have more places to turn to for help.

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